"We kind of thought about doing it tonight," Francona said on Friday.
The 39-year-old Atchison was placed on the 15-day DL on May 28 with the left ankle issue, which the pitcher said he twisted during conditioning drills midway through April. Atchison pitched through the problem and struggled in the weeks leading up to being shelved.
Overall, Atchison has turned in a 5.74 ERA in 15 2/3 innings and 19 appearances this season, but the righty posted a 9.31 ERA with a 1.107 opponents' OPS in the 9 2/3 innings (12 games) prior to being put on the DL. In the seven games prior to that stretch, Atchison opened the year with six shutout innings and a paltry .156 opponents' OPS.
Last season, Atchison set career highs in games (70) and innings (72), finishing with a 2.75 ERA in his first season with Cleveland.
In one Minor League rehab outing with Double-A Akron, Atchison struck out three batters and allowed a hit in one inning of work on Wednesday.
"He struck out three and his velocity had kind of creeped up," Francona said. "Not just that, but the finish on his pitches was kind of back where I think everybody wanted it -- himself included. He didn't want to [go on the DL], which I respect a lot, because he competes like crazy.
"But, because what he does is so important to our bullpen, even if he had to take a two-week hiatus from our team, to have him back pitching like he can will be really helpful to our bullpen."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.